Compiled by Dave Graichen
An Alexandria man with a long criminal record has been arrested and charged with beating a pregnant woman unconscious and then the next day coming back and burning down her home. 41 year old Joseph Elie III was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on Wednesday. But, Elie is no stranger to local authorities, he entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the October 1994 death of 82 year old Rita Rabalais, who was found, stabbed and bludgeoned to death, in a bedroom closet of her Alexandria home. Elie was sentenced to 13 years in prison at hard labor in August 2001. But, by the next month, was released from prison after getting credit for time served.
State climatologist Barry Keim warns Louisiana residents to expect rapid changes in weather over the next few days. The first part of that rollercoaster starts today, where things may feel fine right now, but are set to take a drastic turn later tonight, as rain moves into the state. Keim says expect anywhere from half an inch to an inch and a half of rain and there is the possibility of some severe weather. And after all that nasty rain clears out, break out your heavy jackets as cold weather moves in..
Kenner is the host city for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference that kicks off today at the Ponchartrain Center. President of the event, Roger Villere, says the conference is put on every couple of years by the 15 southern states of the RNC and will feature many guest speakers over the course of two days. Villere says both Republican candidates for the 2019 Governor’s race will be in attendance.
Louisiana’s Speaker of the House Taylor Barras, for a third month in a row, has blocked the Revenue Estimating Conference from recognizing additional revenue for the state budget, despite suggestions from economists. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says the delay will prevent State Police from recruiting the next class of officers. The stalemate could also hurt Governor Edwards’ proposal to provide teachers with a pay raise next fiscal year.
Louisiana has distributed February food stamps to 337-thousand households. The early issuance is due to the partial federal government shutdown and the department of children and family services is advising food stamp recipients to budget accordingly, because these are not extra benefits. Assistant Deputy Secretary Sammy Guillory says if you recently applied for food stamps, your application is still being processed.
A steel-covered walkway is being installed at the entrance of the state capitol to protect visitors from falling pieces of mortar from the 86-year-old building. Division of administration spokesperson Jacques Berry says the state legislature will have to appropriate the 40 to 60-million dollars to repair the falling mortar.
A pedestrian is dead following a hit & run in St. Landry Parish. State Police say the accident claimed the life of 51-year-old David Sonnier of Arnaudville. It appears Sonnier was walking on or near LA 182 when he was struck by two vehicles, with both fleeing the scene. The investigation continues in an effort to local the drivers of the two vehicles.
A military jury has convicted Barksdale Air Force airman Isaiah Edwards in the fatal stabbing of his roommate during a deployment to Guam last year. Edwards faces a life sentence. Edwards tried to claim he killed 20-year-old Bradley Hale in self-defense.
The Who Dat nation is ready to rumble in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome again this Sunday as the Saints battle the LA Rams in the NFC Championship. A win and the Black and Gold heads to the Super Bowl in Atlanta. You’ll be able to hear the game on 96.9 KZMZ and 94.7 ESPN..